Fishermen gradually return to Emory River after ash spill closure

Fishermen gradually return to Emory River after ash spill closure

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"I see fishermen moving to different spots. They're not fishing this area as much. They are moving out towards Tennessee and down the lakes," Rodney Gaylor said. "I see fishermen moving to different spots. They're not fishing this area as much. They are moving out towards Tennessee and down the lakes," Rodney Gaylor said.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - Fishermen are slowly returning to the Emory River after it re-opened following the ash spill at TVA's Kingston plant.

This week, TVA reduced the no wake zone for boaters.

Rodney Gaylor, of Oliver Springs, grew up fishing on the Emory River. Wednesday was his first time back since the river re-opened in May.

He says since the ash spill, many of the fishing spots aren't the same. "I see fishermen moving to different spots. They're not fishing this area as much. They are moving out towards Tennessee and down the lakes."

Gaylor says it's strange to see all the boat docks on this portion of the Emory River empty. Almost all of the homes there were bought by TVA after the spill.

TVA officials have put in a lot of new buoys. Some say danger, but most identify areas where no wake is allowed.

You can still see barges and machinery cleaning up where the ash pond collapsed.

"It has changed me a little bit, where I try to fish other areas," Gaylor said, adding that he thinks the area will pick up eventually.

He did say he's seen a decrease of people skiing and tubing in this portion of the river. He just hopes the ash spill doesn't have a long-term negative impact in the years to come.

Gaylor also owns a boat accessory business, and says there's been one positive thing from the spill, business.

Since the spill, he's seen an increase in customers due to all the workers coming to the area.

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